1Liz Ibek Tabraj MurilloEnglish 4th Section TR44November 19, 2012Final Essay – 1157 words GENDER ROLES IN THE MEDIA Women take care and men take charge is a well-know sexist common saying thatgive us an idea of how gender stereotypes are. This sexist view of genders have beenchanging in the last years but it still differs depending on where you are as it could beseen in Campbells Chunky soup ad ( 2010-USA) and Inca Cola ad (2009-Peru). Themedia has not only a big influence in societys idea of gender stereotypes but its alsoinfluenced by this. The media, depending on the culture, use gender stereotypes toreach their audience by encouraging gender stereotypes such as physical appearance,gender roles and societys idea of how men and women should be. In the first ad, the one about Inca Cola, it could be seen a man and woman playingout the respective masculine and feminine gender role that have been traditionallyprescribed by their culture, in this case the Peruvian culture. The man looks strong,masculine and like the one who could take control over his own decisions and hisfamily decisions. In other hand, the woman in the ad looks tiny, fragile, passive andsubmissive.
2It seems like she would be happy to do whatever just to please her husband. In addition,it could be seen that the clothes they use are completely different. She is wearing thekind of clothes that a housewife would wear while he is wearing formal clothes. Theway they dress up gives us an idea of the gender roles that they both should carry out intheir society. The womans clothes give the idea that a wifes role in the Peruvian societyis to do housework. She could work outside but she is still in charge of cook, clean,dust, and takes care of her family. On the contrary, the man is wearing formal clothesso, maybe, he could work in an office or at least have a higher job position than hiswife; it means that she could not earn as much money as her husband. This makeswoman even more fragile because the one who brings more money is the man so she iseconomically dependent. This is a sign of dominance. This advertisement influences even more in the Peruvian societys idea of howwomen and men should behave. This ad idealizes traditional stereotypes and genderroles like domesticity and submissiveness for woman and independence and theprovider and protector role for men. Its also important to know that the Peruvian societyhas a macho view of the genders. Thats why this ad uses this kind of stereotypes just inorder to reach their audience. This ad shows the Peruvian idea of the perfect wife, whoshould be someone that just wants to make his husband and family happy. She couldhave a job outside but it should not interfiers with her housework like cook, dust, andtakes care of the children while the man should have the one who take careeconomically of his family.
3 In the same way as the last ad stereotypes woman and man in order to please and reachthe audience of their objective public, the American ad - Campbells Chunky Soup ad(2010) give us a completely different view of gender roles. This ad will show us howman can play womans role and woman can do things that man do as well. In the second ad it could be seen a man who breaks all the typical stereotypes. Theman in the ad doesnt look like the macho. On the contrary he looks more passive andsensitive. In this ad, there is not a woman but it could be deduced that she would lookslike an independent one. Also it could be seen that the man in this case is not wearing asuit or formal clothes; he is wearing a shirt and probably comfortable pants and sandals.On the other hand, the woman probably would not be wearing the kind of clothes thatthe typical housewife wears. All these differences even in the way they dress up let usthink about what kind of job they could have. He is wearing clothes for do houseworkso he is a house-husband while, probably, his wife is working outside as a secretary,sale seller, and any job that in past times just a man could get. Gone are those dayswhen man was expected make a living all by himself and provide for his family, nowthe woman is the bread-winner. Gender roles have change. According to some sources,the rate of house-husbands or stay-at-home dad has increased in the last years. Theprincipal reason of this shift of traditional gender roles is the massive job losses; therecession has hit harder the male dominated industries like manufacturing andconstruction. Pamela J. Smock, a professor at the University of Michigan, says “Theeconomic crisis is heavily affecting families and what the latest data show is that genderroles are flexible and are going in the direction of egalitarian roles". This advertisement breaks the typical idea of how men and women should be and
4how they should behave. This ad idealize equality and the modern idea of gender roles,it means that is not necessary be a woman to take care of the children, cook, dust, another many things, men can do all those things as well. It is important to know that theAmerican culture is not a macho culture; they do not even have a word for that concept,they took borrow the expression from the Latin-American Culture, in this case Mexicanculture. For American equality is an important value, and American woman have foughtfor her rights since 1800. Feminism has played an important role in the history andculture of the United States. On addition, the crisis in American has hit more men thanwomen, is easier find a job is you are a woman so now men should stay at home. That iswhy this ad breaks the macho idea of gender roles, and changes it completely. In conclusion, gender roles has change in every culture at least a little but as it couldbe seen the macho idea of gender roles is still present in some cultures like in thePeruvian culture while in others like the American culture the meaning of gender roleshave change in so many ways. The Inca Cola ad shows us a traditional family where thewife does housework while the man goes to work. On the contrary, in the CampbellsChunky Soup show us something completely different, a man who stays at home to be astay-at-home dad whiles probably his wife is working outside. This occurs becausethose cultures are completely different and the media, depending on the culture, usegender stereotypes to reach their audience by encouraging gender stereotypes such asphysical appearance, gender roles and societys idea of how men and women should be.